Combine water, sugar and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat.
Stirring occasionally, boil until the sugar and salt are completely dissolved.
Remove the pan from the heat and add the tea bag(s) . Allow the tea bag(s) to remain in the pot to steep while the mixture cools, about 1 hour. Remove and discard the tea bag.
Add the crushed red pepper flakes and ground black pepper.
Place the chicken in a container large enough to allow the brine to cover the meat completely. Pour the brine over it. Place the container in the refrigerator and let the chicken soak for 4-8 hours.
Remove the chicken from the brine 45 minutes before it needs to go in the oven. Discard the brine. Allow the chicken air dry at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Brush the outside of the chicken with the olive oil.
Combine the salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika. Sprinkle the outside of the chicken generously with the seasoning mix.
For added flavor, you can stuff the cavity of the chicken with a peeled and quartered onion, garlic cloves and fresh herbs, if desired.
Tie the chicken legs together with twine.
Place the chicken in the cast iron skillet. Roast the chicken for 18 minutes per pound.
Allow the chicken to rest for 15 minutes before carving.